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Truth and naturalism...

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posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by melatonin

Originally posted by hulkbacker
Ah. finally. The truth is only valuable in serving a purpose.


Didn't actually say that. It can and does have the potential to serve a purpose.


you did. you just can't grasp it.


Knowledge/pursuit of truth has worth in and of itself.

For example, as a naturalist I don't believe in pixies, but it's hard to disprove them. If we were suddenly able to show pixies to be false, we would have a potential truth about the world, but is not really of any great consequence to me as an apixiest - no real purpose, rather useless to be honest,

how does this illustrate your point? your just saying that truth can have no value.


but the knowledge is still worth having, I guess. Rather they spent their time and resources curing cancer or something. Although the pixiest might find the truth hurtful.


you confirm my assertions with every post. "knowledge if worth having, I guess... but wait! its better if truth is used in ways that make people feel better"


Another example, some biologist might find that the Pink-spotted aphid actually uses the stem of the elf-flower as a tool in its intricate foreplay - not really valuable or serving any great purpose to me - would perhaps raise a laugh. Suppose someone else might find it of value. Who knows? Perhaps some people find aphid pr0n fulfilling and would open up all sorts of avenues.


I think you misunderstand. I am not saying that truth does not exist. I'm saying that truth is only valuable as a means to an end. Even in your examples you illustrate this point.




posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by hulkbacker
Well, I tried to reach this point in one of my earlier posts. But you refused to answer the questions. Thus I had to take a less direct approach.


Like the fallacy you excreted? lol


Now that we have established that the truth is only a means to an end. what if that end is met without the truth? What makes truth more valuable to meeting that end than any other medium?


Lies can serve a purpose as well. I actually made this implicit very early on - the truth tends to be good. For example, I would lie like a creationists to save a group from some evil group of neo-nazis.

Amazing really.


I'll repeat my earlier post. IF we assume naturalism as true. Who is in the more enviable posistion?

The theist that gets comfort, joy, and fulfillment out of believing a lie.


I'm sure smackheads also get great comfort from being addicted to heroin.


The naturailst that is left unfulfilled knowing the truth.

(*note. I am not implying that naturalim necessarily leads to emptiness or that theism leads to fulfillment)
In this particular scenario, would not believing a lie be more valuable than knowing the truth for these examples as individuals?


but this comes back to your pathetic attempt to frame the issue in the false dilemma, and also later in the 'Oy! Son! Comets gonna whack you, . Oh, and you'll be worm food in 8 seconds!' scenario, lol.

Try again.


Now I ask. "How can a naturalist claim any form of superiority over a theist, even IF naturalism is true"?


I don't. But I tend to claim superiority over serial BSers.


If both are equally fulfilled(the objective if each individual)

by thier beliefs,( true or false, )

then each belief is in fact just as valuable as the other?


Again, that could be viewed as correct. But, still, the pursuit of truth is a noble endeavour and it has its own worth.

However, theism leads to particular actions. Those actions can be assessed as good or bad (and in response to the above related question, I determine my values in an interaction with society). For example, naturalism doesn't suggest that witches must die, some forms of theism do.

Some theism is pretty innocuous. Other forms aren't.


Nothing is gained, and nothing is lost in knowing or not knowing the truth in purley natural model of existence. Not in these contexts.


See above.


The point of all this, is that in Theism (especially of the Judeo/Christian sort) the reverse is not true. Personal fulfillment in this reality is not, or better, SHOULD NOT be the end goal for each person as an individual.


OK.


If we exchange the scenario's--

For these purposes, we assume the Christian worldview to be correct.

The theist is left unfulfilled by his knowledge that God is responsible for all, and that he, is in turn responsible to God.

The naturalist is fulfilled by his wrong belief that God does not exist and that he owes this God no worship.


Again, false dichotomy.


In this instance, the only hope rests in truth. Only through truth can the actual objective be achieved. Truth still only has value as a means to the end. But in this case the end goes far beyond our natural world. In this one instance, the naturalists lie can be more valuable in achieving temporay success. But it will ultimatley lead to utter horror.
The theists truth may well lead to temporary repulsion, but it is only thru this truth can any individual actual obtain the true eternal goal.


Your slip is showing, dear.


Basically, its just another way of wording Pascal's wager. Only I emphasize that not only can the naturalist fail to look upon the theist after death and say "I told you so", but he can't even look down upon the theist in THIS life and say "I told you so", even If it could be proven him that he was correct.


I noticed. So it's just rewording a load of bull then?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by hulkbacker
you did. you just can't grasp it.


No, I didn't. I said it wouldn't be helpful. I didn't say the only pertinent variable is whether it is helpful.

That was your strawman.


how does this illustrate your point? your just saying that truth can have no value.


Jeez. It has value of itself.


you confirm my assertions with every post. "knowledge if worth having, I guess... but wait! its better if truth is used in ways that make people feel better"


But I still don't see the purpose. So it's worth having as a form of stampcollecting.


I think you misunderstand. I am not saying that truth does not exist. I'm saying that truth is only valuable as a means to an end. Even in your examples you illustrate this point.


Ok, if you think the truth is only valuable as a means to an end, that's fine. I agree it can have purpose, other times it's rather useless.

Nope, I just expressed two examples where I saw no real point. Hence, the value is also the knowledge itself. Just it being uncovered is good. In general, truth = good, lies = bad. But that can depend on circumstance, sometimes its by the by and of no real consequence. It just is. Sometimes lies serve better consequences than the truth - but that would be rarer - the consequences of truth would have to be pretty bad.

Understanding stuff is just good. Knowing that Jade Goody was almost attacked by someone with a hammer last night serves no purpose to me, it's just fluff. But it's also true, and therefore better than someone trying to suggest that Jade Goody is an alien and ate babies yesterday. Both serve little purpose to me, but I would still value one higher than t'other in that instance. Have a guess which? But I won't shed a tear when it eventually decays from my memory.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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How does anything you posted refute the logic layed before you?

"falsehoods can have value too" yep. thats the point. False can be as valuable as true in naturalism.

"Crack heads get satisfaction from smoking crack" maybe. but in pure naturalism, if the crackhead gets his highest personal satisfaction from smoking crack, what then would be more beneficial to HIM?


You have already admitted my main point, yet you refuse to follow that to its logical conclusions.

You just keep saying "false dilemmas" like it means something. But in truth, the fact that you choose to avoid my more direct questions seems to suggest you want to avoid the implications of those questions.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by hulkbacker
How does anything you posted refute the logic layed before you?

"falsehoods can have value too" yep. thats the point. False can be as valuable as true in naturalism.


But it would depend on the circumstances. I don't think it would as valuable.

OK. Lets say truth = 10; lie = 1

Consequences of truth = -50 (-40)
Consequences of lie = +10 (+11)
Do nothing = -50 (-50)

I'd go for lies in that case. It's very contextual and based on the consequences. But even in that case the truth is more valuable, it's the consequences that swing it. When the consequences are of little real impact, truth wins out.

I would hope you would make the same decision. I'm sure you can think of lots of real-world scenarios were lying would produce the best outcome, but even then, truth is of itself of higher value. You can't really get beyond my own philosophy, as that's all it is.

Disagree by all means.


"Crack heads get satisfaction from smoking crack" maybe. but in pure naturalism, if the crackhead gets his highest personal satisfaction from smoking crack, what then would be more beneficial to HIM?


In what sense? Healthwise? not crack. Personal freedom wise? His choice. But if the dude had kids, I'd see them removed if he didn't clean up.


You have already admitted my main point, yet you refuse to follow that to its logical conclusions.

You just keep saying "false dilemmas" like it means something. But in truth, the fact that you choose to avoid my more direct questions seems to suggest you want to avoid the implications of those questions.


No, the false dilemma means something. It's shows a method to force predetermined conclusion by excluding all other possibilities.

It serves a purpose, but it's rather disingenuous.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by hulkbacker
 


I believe you have to go one more step closer than arguing about the search for truth.

The search for truth , or truthiness, is a very noble goal.

The issue stems from how one relates to their convictions.

If we understand that all convictions are suspect, then we tread more lightly on the earth and, to your point, quite possibly enjoy it more.

I suggest you take a look at this thread Hubris: The Arrogance of Conviction



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by melatonin
 


the way I see it, the value of something is found soley in how useful that something is in reaching a goal. Be that truth, or anything else.
In that case, value is in the eye of the beholder.
(* I do not believe that "absolute truth" is relative, only its value)


I honestly can't fathom any other way to determine value. Could this be a flaw in my thinking? sure. But I'm open to an explaination as to how or why thats the case.

Now, you or I might say "it has an intrinsic value all its own". Really? based on what?
How does, or why would anything have value in of itself?

Can you provide an example of such? I know you have given some examples of truth, but I still don't see the value in it outside of how it helps to reach some other goal.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:33 PM
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reply to post by HunkaHunka
 


I think we are on different but perhaps related subjects. One saying that AFAIK, I came up with is "you can't know anything unless you know everything" (And personally I think its better than way Socrates put it).


That said, no one ever remotley acts or behaves based on what we know. I am convicted that we have to act on what we are convicted of... moving forward always considering that your convictions might be wrong. (even this, we must admit that we can't know)

I do think we can examine one anothers convictions and see where those lead if left to thier logical conclusions. My point in this thread, is that a consistent, logical arguement from naturalism will lead to the conclusion that truth only has value to the individual, in reaching the goal of fulfillement in this Life for that individual. In such a worldview, a lie could as easily be just as valuable as the truth.

Therefore, my opening question. Would you rather believe a lie if it meant you would be happy and fulfilled conscious existence? OR know the truth if it meant you would be empty and disappointed with your entire concious existence ?

(keep in mind, you would believe the lie. so its not like your going to be constatnly haunted by the fact that what you believe is false)



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by melatonin
 

You're calling the OP pathetic? I think you're pathetic. All you do is follow people around that don't have the same belief as you, and rail on them.

If these threads are so bad, why are you always in them with your pathetic remarks? Go find a thread you agree with and post your pathetic remarks there. Why waste your time posting on threads you think are stupid? Pathetic.

Truly pathetic.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:52 PM
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reply to post by hulkbacker
 


Naturalist don't search for truth. They perpetuate a lie. Whatever they tell you here will be a lie too.



Starred.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by B.A.C.]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by hulkbacker
reply to post by melatonin
 


the way I see it, the value of something is found soley in how useful that something is in reaching a goal. Be that truth, or anything else.
In that case, value is in the eye of the beholder.
(* I do not believe that "absolute truth" is relative, only its value)


Fair enough. We are in the realm of philosophy here. Sometimes we can just give value to things which aren't really useful or are goal-acheiving, but represent something more than just utility.

Sheesh, I've got objects which are useless, but they have inherent value to me - other people would view them as tatt, some are ugly as hell. Some people view art as essentially useless, but still possesses inherent aesthetic value.


I honestly can't fathom any other way to determine value. Could this be a flaw in my thinking? sure. But I'm open to an explaination as to how or why thats the case.


Perhaps.


Now, you or I might say "it has an intrinsic value all its own". Really? based on what?
How does, or why would anything have value in of itself?

Can you provide an example of such? I know you have given some examples of truth, but I still don't see the value in it outside of how it helps to reach some other goal.


Based on my perception and philosophy?

There is an inherent beauty in truth I've heard said. Amazingly, we also tend to trust those humans perceived as most beautiful. Cool, eh (or not in some ways)?

I appreciate and value truth, and I do see the fundamental search for truth as a noble pursuit in and of itself. Truth might make me happy or sad, like art makes me happy and sad, and a whole range of emotions - but it doesn't have to have real utility in some greater pursuit of goals or even provide utility via pleasure. Art-for-arts sake and a pursuit of truth-for-truths sake.

Make sense?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by B.A.C.
reply to post by melatonin
 

You're calling the OP pathetic? I think you're pathetic. All you do is follow people around that don't have the same belief as you, and rail on them.

If these threads are so bad, why are you always in them with your pathetic remarks? Go find a thread you agree with and post your pathetic remarks there. Why waste your time posting on threads you think are stupid? Pathetic.

Truly pathetic


My internal monologue took that in a daffy duck voice, lol.

I said the dilemma was pathetic. Remember the bit about 'insulting' arguments rather than the person?

As if I would care about your opinion of me or even my arguments, lol.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by melatonin
 


You must care, you wasted your time and my own arguing about a fact.


Sorry for "insulting" you with my belief.

Why don't you create a thread with your well thought out ideas? The ones that aren't pathetic? Scared of the criticism? Nice.

Just wondering.

Anyway, back on topic.


Originally posted by hulkbacker
IF the answer to the last few question is "yes" then wouldn't a theist who was fulfilled and made joyful in thier thiesm actually be better off than a naturalist that who is left empty regardless of who is actually "right" or "wrong".


The Theist will always be better off than the naturalist. Because the naturalists beliefs are not about "right" and "wrong", their belief is proving the Theist wrong at all costs.

Life has no meaning according to Science, so why should they care about "right" or "wrong" or "truth" and "lie"?



[edit on 9-3-2009 by B.A.C.]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by B.A.C.
reply to post by melatonin
 


You must care, you wasted your time and my own arguing about a fact.


Oh, no. This thread might give an insight somewhat into my motivations. I just like uncovering frauds and BSers. I take great pleasure in it.


Why don't you create a thread with your well thought out ideas? The ones that aren't pathetic? Scared of the criticism? I see your threads are all about how Theists are less intelligent and related type arguments. Nice.

Just wondering.

Anyway, back on topic.


Funny actually. In my experience, creationists tend to be the most intellectually dishonest and uneducated people I've ever come across. Not all are stupid, though. In fact, some are quite intelligent, well-read, and endearing individuals. I know a handful on here I have great respect for.

But some just keep feeding the stereotype. I do my best to recall the more respectable to balance it out.



[edit on 9-3-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 12:27 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin
Funny actually. In my experience, creationists tend to be the most intellectually dishonest and uneducated people I've ever come across.


Great. So you discriminate based on peoples belief's. That demonstrates your superior intellect I guess.

Knock yourself out with that.

God Bless.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 12:30 AM
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Originally posted by melatonin




I appreciate and value truth, and I do see the fundamental search for truth as a noble pursuit in and of itself. Truth might make me happy or sad, like art makes me happy and sad, and a whole range of emotions - but it doesn't have to have real utility in some greater pursuit of goals or even provide utility via pleasure. Art-for-arts sake and a pursuit of truth-for-truths sake.



hmmm. one of us can't seem to get our point across to the other. (that could very well be my problem) I'll at least give it another shot. You see, even your attemtps to describe what makes truth valuable, you are only able to do so by using truth as a means to an end.

For example you say -"I appreciate the value of truth",- now thats all find and good. But just because you seem to link some value to truth does not infer that truth has value all its own. Its your appreciation that is the endgoal for truth to reach.

To continue, you say that " the fundamental search for truth is a noble pursuit in of itself" I guess I have to ask the question, "what makes searching for the truth more noble than a lifelong goal to seeding lies?" Which will in turn, get us back to the question of what makes truth valuable. Which again you will likley only be able to describe in terms of how you for some reason get more personal satisfaction out of truth as opposed to a non truth.

The art analogy is perfect really. The value of any art peice in the eye of the beholder. Therefore I can assign value to art on the basis of how I personally feel about it.

The fact that you continue to note that truth can make you both happy and sad seems to underscore that I have not gotten my point across. Truth is only more valuable to you because you prefer truth to a lie for whatever personal reason you might invoke. In some, limited circumstances you have said that a lie is actually better because it may inllicit the more desirable outcome. In either case what decides which has more value? the context that its placed in.

IF the value of truth is dependent on context then it has no inherent value of its own. Its value is determined soley as a means to an end.
Most of the time truth will have more value to you because (for whatever reason you invoke-) the bottom line is that you get satisfaction out of seeking and gaining truth. Your satisfaction is the end goal, truth is the method by which you most often attain that goal.
*note. satisfaction/fulfillement is not the same as temporary hapiness*

You could use almost anything in the same context. Ultimatley any aspect or trait is only valuable to an individual in as much as it helps that individual reach a goal. That goal is almost always personal fulfillment.

Please don't confuse what I am getting at here. I'm not saying that only the truth that makes you happy can be valuable. I am saying that knowing truth at its core seems to you to be "better" than believing a lie in almost all circumstances. However, a lie at times will do "better".

This gets to my point. In naturalism, each person determines what is "best" for themselves. A thiest might be personally crushed for the remainder of life if he came to Know that there is no God. despite it being true. IF this life were all the theist will ever experience, wouldn't it have been better for the theist to personally live out life believing a lie?

I guess to restate my point. In naturalism, why does it matter whether or not the theist accepts it as truth, so long as the theist is personally fulfilled?

In theism, truth is essential. Accepting truth is essential, rejecting these truths pose dire consequences

[edit on 10-3-2009 by hulkbacker]

[edit on 10-3-2009 by hulkbacker]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 04:10 AM
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Originally posted by hulkbacker
For example you say -"I appreciate the value of truth",- now thats all find and good. But just because you seem to link some value to truth does not infer that truth has value all its own. Its your appreciation that is the endgoal for truth to reach.


lol, you can try to perceive an end-goal, but there isn't really.

I've tried to clearly explain it. Some things do not need to have utility to be valued. There is nothing but agents to perceive value.

You might imagine more than biological agents to perceive value. I don't. What one agent sees as worthless, another sees as valuable. Where one sees only value in how stuff can be used for some goal, some can see value in its very existence and nature.


To continue, you say that " the fundamental search for truth is a noble pursuit in of itself" I guess I have to ask the question, "what makes searching for the truth more noble than a lifelong goal to seeding lies?"


Because seeding lies is in general an ugly pursuit?

Almost as if its an intuitive thing for me, isn't it?

[edit on 10-3-2009 by melatonin]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by B.A.C.
reply to post by hulkbacker
 


Naturalist don't search for truth. They perpetuate a lie. Whatever they tell you here will be a lie too.



Starred.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by B.A.C.]


Your trolling is really boring.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by hulkbacker
From a naturalistic philosphy, what value does truth have?

It has the same value it has from any other philosophical perspective, apart from a morally relativistic one. That value resides in its dependability, though this can change over time.


If there is no God, or no ultimate objective for our personal lives, why is knowing the truth valuable?

What is truth? It is a collection of facts that can be verified by observation and comparative experience. When we understand this, its value becomes very clear. We can use these truths, these facts, to understand how the world fits together and we fit into it. This helps us determine our interim objectives and pursue them. A short, snappy word that means 'pursuing one's interim objectives' is 'living'.

I don't really see how an 'ultimate objective' is of any value in one's personal life. Christians, Jews and Muslims believe the ultimate objective of any life is known only to God. Buddhists believe the ultimate objective of life is its cessation, which strikes me as a bit of a cop-out. In most other major faiths, such as Hinduism or Chinese religion, the question doesn't even arise. Naturalists believe the ultimate object of life is its preservation and continuation, but don't regard this as a personal object, rather a universal one that all life pursues automatically, so there's not much point thinking about it.


Wouldn't personal happiness be the only logical goal?

I don't see why it should be. I know many people whose goal in life appears to be to create or build - artists, writers, musicians, architects. I know others whose goal in life appears to be self-sacrifice on others' behalf. Are these simply different ways to be happy, or are they different goals pursued by different people? What's the difference?


Regardless of whether or not that happiness is based in truth?

Try living a lie and see how happy it makes you.


Wouldn't a theist who was fulfilled and made joyful in thier thiesm actually be better off than a naturalist that who is left empty regardless of who is actually "right" or "wrong".

Quite possibly. Personally, I consider the pursuit of happiness the ultimate foolishness. One is not made happy by pursuing happiness but by embracing life to the full. Obviously one's material wants would need to be taken care of first - unless one is the kind of natural martyr who finds happiness in privation. Such people have always seemed a little insane to me.


If we assume naturalism, and natural evolution as a byproduct, can we be confident if ever obtaining any truth?

...If survival is what drives evolution, How can be certian that our ability to know truth is accurate? Lifes goal would be to survive, not to know truth. Hence we would have evolved along those lines, and not even be able to detect it?

If we evolved around the premise of survival, can we really trust what we discern as truth?

You ask some very pertinent questions. Indeed, it is often speculated that religious belief evolved because it conferred a reproductive advantage on the believers. This would be an excellent example of belief in the untrue promoting survival - and reproduction, of course.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 01:01 AM
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Three days and still no response to my post.

Having a bit of trouble, hulkbacker?



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